The other day at the market I spotted something new and it really caught my attention. It was one of those plastic “clamshell” containers from Hamakua Springs and the label said “Vine Ripened Hamakua Gourmet Tomatoes.”
First, let me tell you that when it comes to Hamakua Springs produce, I qualify as a Frequent Eater. Long before I knew or worked with Richard, I discovered Hamakua Springs produce in the supermarket and it’s what I always bought. And since I’ve been working with Hamakua Springs, I've been lucky to have enjoyed more great produce—even some that is still in the experimental stages and not yet available in the markets, which is really fun to me.
And I’ve enjoyed a lot of the company’s delicious heirloom tomatoes, which Hamakua Springs has been producing for and selling to restaurants throughout the state. Really enjoyed them.
These clamshells I saw at the market have different combinations of heirloom tomatoes. I bought one with two small, deep red heirlooms and a large, broad, deep orange and yellow one that smells like sunshine and summer and green vines and a grandma’s garden. Inside it's streaked with red, and its name is "Striped German." They are Real Tomatoes, unlike the tasteless tomatoes you can buy in the stores—these are exceptionally delicious tomatoes—and that delights me.
The big one is sitting here in front of me as I write, and I’m planning how we’ll enjoy it. Maybe I’ll do what Richard likes to do with his beefsteak tomatoes: Refrigerate it for awhile, and then cut firm, sweet, delicious slices and eat them with a little Hawaiian salt.
We ate the two small red heirlooms with their deep red/purple flesh a couple days ago when we had people over for dinner. I cut them up and put them in a green salad. And even admidst all the pieces of carrot, cucumber, red bell pepper and sugar snap peas, the tomatos stood out. Biting into one meant getting a little burst of incredible flavor. Summer. Memories. (Did you all grow up eating tomatoes out of the garden?)
The big, fat and sometimes funny-looking heirlooms are great for cooking with, Richard has told me. Sometimes I chop them up and cook them in olive oil with some garlic and onion, and a little Hawaiian salt and lemon pepper, and then put that over pasta. That plus a tasty, quick salad and maybe a chunk of good bread makes an easy, delicious dinner, and I love when we eat like that. Healthy, light, good eating with natural ingredients, most of which come from ’round these parts.
I’m going to go put this burst of flavor in the refrigerator now, and all day I’ll anticipate having cold, delicious slices of sweet, ripe tomato with our dinner tonight. — posted by Leslie Lang